Inaugurated 1864
Member of the S.H.G.A.

Page last updated: 21 Jul 2012


Heavy Events

Tossing The Caber

The most spectacular of the heavy events involves a tree trunk weighing perhaps 150lbs, about 18 feet long and tapering from about 9 inches thick at one end to about 5 inches at the other. The competitor lifts the caber by placing his interlocked hands under the narrower end, resting its length against his shoulder. He then runs as fast as he can, stops dead and tosses the end he holds in the air so that the heavy end lands on the ground and the light end passes over it and lands pointing away from him. There is an erroneous belief that the winner is the competitor who tosses the caber the farthest, whereas it is in fact the one who tosses it straightest. The competition is judged with an imaginary clock face. The competitor delivers his throw at 6 o'clock. He tosses the caber so that it lands in the dial. A perfect throw is one that goes straight over, with light end landing at 12 o'clock precisely.

Tossing The Caber - Looks like it might be a good throw!

Throwing The Hammer

This event represents an old contest where young locals would compete to see who could throw the blacksmiths heavy sledgehammer the furthest. The sphere of the hammer now weighs 16lbs or 22lbs, and, unlike the Olympic hammer, the Scots hammer has a wooden shaft measuring 4 feet 2 inches long overall. No turning is allowed. The thrower stands with his back to the trig and takes a god grip with the aid of 6 inch spikes that protrude from the front of his boots. The hammer is swung round the head to gather momentum and then released. The hammer should fly off straight behind the thrower! It requires strength and good timing.

Putting The Stone

Traditionally the first event of the Heavyweight programme, this was originally a smooth stone from the riverbed, sometimes shaped by a local mason. The stones used to vary greatly in shape and weight, particularly those used for tests of strength, where stones up to 265 lbs in weight were used. Now the stone is either 16lbs or 22lbs. The weight is putt (delivered) with one hand only from the front of the shoulders. A run not exceeding 7 feet 6 inches from the trig is allowed.

Putting The Stone

Throwing The Weight For Distance

This is the most graceful of the heavy events, combining rhythm with power. The weight is an iron sphere of 28lbs on a chain with a handle on the end, which measures 18 inches overall. It is delivered from behind the trig with a run up not exceeding 9 feet. The thrower swings the weight to the side, then round behind him, letting the weight drag as far as he can. He then waltzes round once, twice, and on the third turn he heaves the weight round and throws it as far as he can. The main problem here is for the thrower, having gathered up so much speed in turning, to stop at the trig.

Throwing The Weight Over The Bar

The weight is 56lbs with a ring all arched. Like the high jump, each competitor has three attempts at each height. Great strength is required although this is belied by the nonchalant attitude adopted by most competitors. Thrown correctly, the weight narrowly misses the competitor on the way down. If it is thrown incorrectly the competitor may have to look lively in order to avoid being hit. The weight is equivalent to half a bag of coal.

Heavy Event Details